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Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has become a political priority: from the G20 to the European Union, governments are committed to working together. Strategy documents have been drafted, and public, private as well as research sectors have developed partnerships. It is now time for concrete action and we all have a part to play.
That was the conclusion of experts speaking at “Coping with Antimicrobial Resistance,” a Friends of Europe Café Crossfire event on 23 January. An initial discussion led by Friends of Europe in November 2016 on “Policies to counter risks to global health” already identified AMR as one of the current deadliest global threats on the planet, and called for stronger political commitment and multisector cooperation to counter this rising risk. Some 50,000 people die every year in the EU and the United States from antimicrobial resistant infections, a figure that could rise to 10 million by 2050 if the problem is not properly addressed.
“This is truly a global problem that can only be addressed by working together across the planet,” said moderator Tamsin Rose, a Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe.
“One of the main causes of AMR is the misuse of antibiotics. Particularly the systematic and excessive use of antibiotics,” said Cristian-Silviu Bușoi, Member of the European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy. “We should be very worried,” said Francesca Colombo, Head of the OECD Health Division. “Being infected with resistant bacteria rather than non-resistant bacteria doubles the probability of death. It also massively increases costs for European healthcare systems, currently estimated at €6.2 billion a year.”